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Chicago Architecture Biennial Curators announce 2019 Theme as "...and other such stories"
United States Architecture News - Feb 7, 2019 - 05:16 3996 views
The curators of the Chicago Architecture Biennial have announced theme for the 2019 edition of the Biennial, and the theme will be "…and other such stories", forming an expansive and multi-faceted exploration of the field of architecture and the built environment globally.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial will be opened on September 19, 2019 and be on display until January 5, 2020. The third edition of the biennial will be led by Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu, a contemporary art curator, and co-curators Sepake Angiama, a curator whose work centers on education, and Paulo Tavares, a Brazil-based architect and academic.
The graphic identity of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, by LA-based ELLA. Image courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
This year, the curatorial team will draw on the spatial, historical, and socio-economic conditions of Chicago to consider questions of land, memory, rights, and civic participation. "…and other such stories" will embrace a broad spectrum of perspectives on architecture to imagine space and the built environment anew.
Vertical City. Image © Tom Harris. Image courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
"Our approach to this edition of the biennial has evolved through conversations with architects, spatial practitioners, and everyday people in Chicago and other global locations, including through partnerships fostered in our research initiatives in the cities of Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, and Vancouver," noted Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu.
"Through these engagements, we have drawn out a myriad of stories about how lived experiences across global communities, cities, territories, and ecologies resonate with architectural and space-making practices."
Image © Andrew Bruah. Image courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
Developed through a research-led approach, the biennial will address the potency of space, architecture, and the natural world as they relate to four areas of inquiry:
(1) No Land Beyond, which draws inspiration from indigenous approaches to nature, ecology, and landscape that transcend property ownership;
(2) Appearances and Erasures, which explores both shared and contested memories in consideration of monuments, memorials, and social histories;
(3) Rights and Reclamations
(4) Common Ground, which foreground aspects of rights, advocacy, and civic purpose in architectural practice, including affordable and equitable housing;
Image © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
The third edition of the biennial is particularly inspired by Chicago, moving beyond the grand narratives of the city’s architectural heritage to explore the history and conditions that have and continue to shape its urban development.
This approach has inspired a broader view on the field of architecture to embrace practices that span building, design, planning, visual art, policymaking, education, and activism. …and other such stories will create a program that addresses the four areas of inquiry from these varied frames of reference — together exploring the changing and challenging conditions of our societies and environments.
Emanating from the central exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center and extending into the city, the 2019 Biennial will feature a series of new commissions, residencies, partner projects, and public programs.
Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu. Image © Zachary Johnston, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
"The Biennial is a centerpiece of the Chicago cultural landscape, bringing the entire city together to celebrate, explore, and understand the legacy and impact of architecture. As a city with an architectural history that forms such a strong foundation of our identity, we are thrilled that this year’s team will shine a light on Chicago as a global convener for leading architectural thought," noted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Co-curator Sepake Angiama. Image © Zachary Johnston, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
The Biennial is designed as the largest architecture and design exhibition of North America. It is designed to deepen and expand the dialogue on architecture and the built environment with both industry leaders and everyday citizens, envisioning and sparking a future of architecture that is, first and foremost, shared, inclusive, diverse, sustainable, and equitable.
Co-curator Paulo Tavares. Image © Gabriel Ribeiro, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
Concurrent with the announcement of this year’s focus, the Biennial has unveiled the new graphic identity for the edition, designed by ELLA. The Los Angeles-based design studio will design the visual identity, citywide campaign, exhibition graphics, and accompanying catalogue for the 2019 edition.
Top image: MOS Architects' Corridor House exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015. Image © Steve Hall